Yes, the first film of the Hobbit trilogy has crossed the magical half a billion dollar mark in theaters worldwide. Warner Bros reported the box office bonanza, with Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, stating, "We are extremely gratified by the response of moviegoers who love the film and, in many cases, are taking this terrifically entertaining 'Journey' to Middle-earth more than once. We anticipate that positive word of mouth and repeat viewings will continue to result in strong returns well into the New Year."
Extremely gratified? I say extremely fortunate that Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings franchise had built up an incredible amount of goodwill going into the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Hobbit runs way too long and here's hoping parts 2 and 3 will be snappier in pace and without too much unnecessary padding.
According to WB, The Hobbit has made $179.7 million domestically (as of December 27th) and $344 million internationally, bringing it to a total of $523.7 million thus far.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens on December 13, 2013 followed by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on July 18, 2014.
(Poster © Warner Bros Pictures)